U.S. Won't Enforce Laws Banning VA Benefits For Same-Sex Couples

Sep 4, 2013 | Posted by: Rick in Kansas | Full story: www.npr.org

The Obama administration will stop enforcing two sections of a law that lays out benefits for U.S. veterans.

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“ WOOF ! ”

Since: Nov 12

Peoples Bushes, Arizona

#1 Sep 4, 2013
As much as I'm for equality in all respects, the POTUS cannot pick and choose which laws to enforce and which laws he won't enforce. He took an OATH to faithfully execute the laws,, NOT just the ones he "likes".

What he is doing is CLEARLY an IMPEACHABLE OFFENSE.

IMPEACH THIS BUM ! THROW STUMBLEBUM JOE IN THERE !(Where the heck has he been, anyways ?!)

NEXT !
Nolan

Anonymous Proxy

#2 Sep 4, 2013
Fa-Foxy wrote:
As much as I'm for equality in all respects, the POTUS cannot pick and choose which laws to enforce and which laws he won't enforce. He took an OATH to faithfully execute the laws,, NOT just the ones he "likes".
What he is doing is CLEARLY an IMPEACHABLE OFFENSE.
IMPEACH THIS BUM ! THROW STUMBLEBUM JOE IN THERE !(Where the heck has he been, anyways ?!)
NEXT !
Well said and 100% spot on!
2 posts removed

“ reality, what a concept”

Since: Nov 07

this one

#5 Sep 4, 2013
Daniel dear, the laws in question were just ruled unconstitutional by a federal court, the Administration is acting on that basis because there will be no appeal.
1 post removed
Sir Andrew

Honolulu, HI

#7 Sep 4, 2013
Rick is right, Fa-Foxy (Daniel of old) is wrong and Nolan is an idiot and a coward and, incidentally, a Little Liar. The laws that POTUS has chosen not to enforce—and this is by no means the only one related to the gay community—are all unenforceable following the DOMA decision. He is doing exactly what he should be doing. He is a great president and will long be included in the list of the most effective presidents in history. And Fa-Foxy, give that dead horse a rest. please. Beating it is doing nothing for either you or it.

“Married 6/17/08”

Since: Feb 07

Porterville, CA

#8 Sep 5, 2013
Rick in Kansas wrote:
Daniel dear, the laws in question were just ruled unconstitutional by a federal court, the Administration is acting on that basis because there will be no appeal.
Appears as though some don't like to hear the truth. Well said.

“Headed toward the cliff”

Since: Nov 07

Tawas City, Michigan

#9 Sep 5, 2013
Fa-Foxy wrote:
As much as I'm for equality in all respects, the POTUS cannot pick and choose which laws to enforce and which laws he won't enforce. He took an OATH to faithfully execute the laws,, NOT just the ones he "likes".
What he is doing is CLEARLY an IMPEACHABLE OFFENSE.
IMPEACH THIS BUM ! THROW STUMBLEBUM JOE IN THERE !(Where the heck has he been, anyways ?!)
NEXT !
Except of course that it's clearly NOT an impeachable offense.

The President is exercising his constitutional authority in light of the recent SCOTUS ruling which makes any such laws unconstitutional.

If the President continues to enforce unconstitutional laws, then that might be an impeachable offense.

“Headed toward the cliff”

Since: Nov 07

Tawas City, Michigan

#10 Sep 5, 2013
At least now the VA will finally have to fall in line with the rest of the federal govt. President Obama should consider replacing the current VA Secretary with someone who WOULDN'T have needed a presidential order to do what they we supposed to do in the first place.

“Marriage Equality”

Since: Dec 07

Lakeland, MI

#11 Sep 5, 2013
All the president is doing is saving the taxpayers and a whole bunch of private citizens from being forced to file and pursue lengthy lawsuits to accomplish what everyone already knows the end result will be anyway.

Based on the SCOTUS decision on DOMA, the Feds can't pick and choose which married couples they give benefits to and which they don't. Why waste time and money on a lawsuit when the end result is so obvious?

Now if he'd do something about Social Security, I'd be even happier.

“Equality First”

Since: Jan 09

St. Louis, MO

#12 Sep 5, 2013
eJohn wrote:
All the president is doing is saving the taxpayers and a whole bunch of private citizens from being forced to file and pursue lengthy lawsuits to accomplish what everyone already knows the end result will be anyway.
Based on the SCOTUS decision on DOMA, the Feds can't pick and choose which married couples they give benefits to and which they don't. Why waste time and money on a lawsuit when the end result is so obvious?
Now if he'd do something about Social Security, I'd be even happier.
I think Social Security determined that they we going to equalize according to place of residence, rather than place of marriage. I believe the article I read said they would wait for further rulings by the courts, or by Congress. Yep, still not equal.

“Marriage Equality”

Since: Dec 07

Lakeland, MI

#13 Sep 5, 2013
RalphB wrote:
<quoted text>
I think Social Security determined that they we going to equalize according to place of residence, rather than place of marriage. I believe the article I read said they would wait for further rulings by the courts, or by Congress. Yep, still not equal.
That's what I read, too. But that's far from equal.

What I'm most curious about is how such laws got into the Social Security Administration to begin with. What prompted them? What couples, other than gay couples, have EVER been legally married in one state, but not in another?? Do those laws date back to anti-miscegenation laws?? And if they do, why didn't the Loving decision invalidate them? Have they been recently adopted in an effort to ban legally gay couples from collecting benefits? And if that's the case, why hasn't the recent DOMA decision invalidated them?

I don't understand how laws that clearly treat gay couples differently from straight couples at the Federal level haven't been struck down by the DOMA decision.

What could the reason possibly be to enact laws that specifically refer to whether or not a marriage is considered legal by the state of residence if it wasn't intended to target either mixed race or gay married couples?

Does anyone know?

“Headed toward the cliff”

Since: Nov 07

Tawas City, Michigan

#14 Sep 5, 2013
eJohn wrote:
<quoted text>
That's what I read, too. But that's far from equal.
What I'm most curious about is how such laws got into the Social Security Administration to begin with. What prompted them? What couples, other than gay couples, have EVER been legally married in one state, but not in another?? Do those laws date back to anti-miscegenation laws?? And if they do, why didn't the Loving decision invalidate them? Have they been recently adopted in an effort to ban legally gay couples from collecting benefits? And if that's the case, why hasn't the recent DOMA decision invalidated them?
I don't understand how laws that clearly treat gay couples differently from straight couples at the Federal level haven't been struck down by the DOMA decision.
What could the reason possibly be to enact laws that specifically refer to whether or not a marriage is considered legal by the state of residence if it wasn't intended to target either mixed race or gay married couples?
Does anyone know?
Because there are different marriage laws in each state but no federal definition of marriage (prior to DOMA), the various federal agencies had to find some way to determine whether the a couple was legally married or not. Some agencies used the place of the marriage, others used the state of current residence.

Remember, states are under no obligation to recognize the marriages performed in another state; they historically HAVE done so under the principle of comity, but they haven't actually been required to- at least not until the Loving decision.
They probably got away with it because the Social Security rules don't address specific couples or marriages.

Seems to me some bean counter in the newly formed Social Security Administration realized that they would pay LESS in total benefits if they went by state of residence to determine marital status.

It's just a guess, but when the govt is involved the answer often comes down to money.

“Equality First”

Since: Jan 09

St. Louis, MO

#15 Sep 5, 2013
eJohn wrote:
<quoted text>
That's what I read, too. But that's far from equal.
What I'm most curious about is how such laws got into the Social Security Administration to begin with. What prompted them? What couples, other than gay couples, have EVER been legally married in one state, but not in another?? Do those laws date back to anti-miscegenation laws?? And if they do, why didn't the Loving decision invalidate them? Have they been recently adopted in an effort to ban legally gay couples from collecting benefits? And if that's the case, why hasn't the recent DOMA decision invalidated them?
I don't understand how laws that clearly treat gay couples differently from straight couples at the Federal level haven't been struck down by the DOMA decision.
What could the reason possibly be to enact laws that specifically refer to whether or not a marriage is considered legal by the state of residence if it wasn't intended to target either mixed race or gay married couples?
Does anyone know?
I'm not sure, so I went to the SSA website. They just say that if you think you are eligible, you should file, and wait for an answer. If you are not satisfied, you can contact one of their regional offices. Of course, I doubt you will get any better information there. Supposedly, they are waiting directions from a higher authority, such as Congress. They do not explain their rationale for their previous decision.

“Marriage Equality”

Since: Dec 07

Lakeland, MI

#16 Sep 5, 2013
WeTheSheeple wrote:
<quoted text>
Because there are different marriage laws in each state but no federal definition of marriage (prior to DOMA), the various federal agencies had to find some way to determine whether the a couple was legally married or not. Some agencies used the place of the marriage, others used the state of current residence.
Remember, states are under no obligation to recognize the marriages performed in another state; they historically HAVE done so under the principle of comity, but they haven't actually been required to- at least not until the Loving decision.
They probably got away with it because the Social Security rules don't address specific couples or marriages.
Seems to me some bean counter in the newly formed Social Security Administration realized that they would pay LESS in total benefits if they went by state of residence to determine marital status.
It's just a guess, but when the govt is involved the answer often comes down to money.
I get all that, but what would prompt anyone, ever, to base a law on recognizing marital status on the place of residence when, with the exception of interracial couples and same-sex couples, all couples married anywhere in the world were considered married everywhere in the US? It makes absolutely no sense.

And since laws banning recognition of interracial marriage and same-sex marriage at the Federal level have been ruled unconstitutional, how is it that the SSA is still allowed to do it? How is that not the Federal government treating same-sex couples different than opposite sex couples?

I don't get it.

“Marriage Equality”

Since: Dec 07

Lakeland, MI

#17 Sep 5, 2013
RalphB wrote:
<quoted text>
I'm not sure, so I went to the SSA website. They just say that if you think you are eligible, you should file, and wait for an answer. If you are not satisfied, you can contact one of their regional offices. Of course, I doubt you will get any better information there. Supposedly, they are waiting directions from a higher authority, such as Congress. They do not explain their rationale for their previous decision.
Exactly. It sounds to me like the SSA is somehow under the impression that they're not part of the Federal government or that they somehow aren't bound by a SCOTUS decision.

Basing marital recognition on state of residence only effects same-sex couples and only serves to exclude them from equal treatment, something the SCOTUS just ruled to be unconstitutional.

So why does the SSA still get to do it?

“Equality First”

Since: Jan 09

St. Louis, MO

#18 Sep 5, 2013
eJohn wrote:
<quoted text>
Exactly. It sounds to me like the SSA is somehow under the impression that they're not part of the Federal government or that they somehow aren't bound by a SCOTUS decision.
Basing marital recognition on state of residence only effects same-sex couples and only serves to exclude them from equal treatment, something the SCOTUS just ruled to be unconstitutional.
So why does the SSA still get to do it?
I assume that last question is rhetorical, since I don't know the answer.

“ WOOF ! ”

Since: Nov 12

Peoples Bushes, Arizona

#19 Sep 5, 2013
eJohn wrote:
<quoted text>
Exactly. It sounds to me like the SSA is somehow under the impression that they're not part of the Federal government or that they somehow aren't bound by a SCOTUS decision.
Basing marital recognition on state of residence only effects same-sex couples and only serves to exclude them from equal treatment, something the SCOTUS just ruled to be unconstitutional.
So why does the SSA still get to do it?
Because The Obamaniac, who the head of the SSA works, for, hasn't told his underlings to obey the SCOTUS ruling.

IMPEACH THIS BUM ! THROW STUMBLEBUM JOE IN THERE !(WHERE THE HECK IS HE ANYWAYS ?!) NEXT !

“Headed toward the cliff”

Since: Nov 07

Tawas City, Michigan

#20 Sep 5, 2013
eJohn wrote:
<quoted text>
I get all that, but what would prompt anyone, ever, to base a law on recognizing marital status on the place of residence when, with the exception of interracial couples and same-sex couples, all couples married anywhere in the world were considered married everywhere in the US? It makes absolutely no sense.
And since laws banning recognition of interracial marriage and same-sex marriage at the Federal level have been ruled unconstitutional, how is it that the SSA is still allowed to do it? How is that not the Federal government treating same-sex couples different than opposite sex couples?
I don't get it.
I'd say follow the money.

Like I said, I'm sure some bean counter at the newly formed SSA realized they'd have to pay out LESS benefits if they went by state of residence rather than state (or country) of contract.

Because the SCOTUS failed to specify how married same-sex couples in states which ban them would have to be treated, it's up to the executive branch to figure that out.

I'd say look for a similar executive order for the SSA in the near future.

“Marriage Equality”

Since: Dec 07

Lakeland, MI

#21 Sep 6, 2013
RalphB wrote:
<quoted text>
I assume that last question is rhetorical, since I don't know the answer.
I've been doing a lot of searching on this issue and I really don't think that *anyone* knows why they think they don't have to treat same-sex couples equally. If the SSA knows, they're certainly not saying anything....

It just seems so strange to me.

“Equality First”

Since: Jan 09

St. Louis, MO

#22 Sep 6, 2013
eJohn wrote:
<quoted text>
I've been doing a lot of searching on this issue and I really don't think that *anyone* knows why they think they don't have to treat same-sex couples equally. If the SSA knows, they're certainly not saying anything....
It just seems so strange to me.
It's not strange. It's a government bureaucracy. It's business as usual for them.

“Marriage Equality”

Since: Dec 07

Lakeland, MI

#23 Sep 6, 2013
RalphB wrote:
<quoted text>
It's not strange. It's a government bureaucracy. It's business as usual for them.
You're probably right. Silly me to think that government employees that are in charge of huge programs managing trillions of dollars wouldn't act like brainless automatons. What was I thinking??

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